I looked around today and noted all that would be missing next week (during the day) when my three oldest kids start school. I saw Kalen whisk away Brayden and entertain him with Play-doh for what seemed like hours. I witnessed Madelyn scoop up our foster baby girl and change her diaper (without being asked), while whispering sweet little things to her. I asked Julian to preheat the oven and then put the potato wedges in to cook for lunch. He did this while I was feeding our baby girl. I grinned as I watched Kalen attempt to sweep up the Play-doh mess on the floor. I felt relief as Madelyn prepared the couch for feeding our baby. This meant she got out a burp cloth, fluffed a pillow and laid it just right, as well as shook the baby’s bottle that I had just made. I got teary and allowed myself to sit in that heartache for a bit.
Then, the kids’ school backpacks came in the mail. I watched as they modeled them. I saw the sheer delight on their faces. First, I began to feel tears of pain coming, but they turned into tears of joy as I felt our children’s excitement.
Now, if that isn’t enough to make my eyes well up, we had two teachers come over today for a home visit. This is a personable way the school attempts to get the children acquainted with the teacher before stepping into the classroom on that first day. Also, it gives the teachers a sense of context when working with and relating to the children. Julian and Kalen’s teacher came ( at different times) to chat with us for a bit and get to know our boys and our family a bit better. The teachers talked about how the school day will flow and about the cool things they’ll have their hands in this upcoming year. There was mention of the schedule along with the drop off and pick up policies. I cringed when I heard the words drop off. It makes me instantly think of the scene in Finding Nemo when Marlin learns that Nemo is headed with his class to the drop off. I think of Marlin’s anxiousness and protective nature on that first day of school. I think of Nemo’s innocence and curiosity. I think our children will be just as excited as Nemo was that first day of school. I think I will be just as nervous, thorough and protective as Nemo’s father, Marlin. As I envision Monday morning rolling around and dropping our children off by the curb, my eyes well up.
It is time for me to let go a bit. I gulp as I type this. I am not good at letting go. I know it is a natural thing for me to feel emotional about sending my kids off to school after having them home for so long . . . but sheesh. I am not questioning this decision, I am just allowing myself the sadness that is natural within this transition. It is time they spread their wings a bit. I am happy, not hesitant. I feel a tenderness of heart that is the good kind.
I consider myself to be a strong person. This is not an attribute that I would have claimed before having children. I believe that I will be leaning heavily, next week, on that strength as well as Scott’s and the Lord’s. I want to make sure that I allow myself these tender feelings that I have described above. I will be crying tears of joy and pain. Those tears of pain I think are okay and they will come and go. Hopefully, the tears of pain and feelings of detachment will turn into tears of joy, assurance and hope.